There are many instances when survival kits could very well save your life and those of your family. If you enjoy outdoor sports like rock-climbing, hiking or even camping in the woods, it seems obvious to have backup supplies in case the worst should happen. Survival kits should also be an important item to have at home if you live in areas where natural disasters are more commonplace than is comfortable! Rescue may not be immediate so you need to be able to take care of yourself.It is possible to buy survival kits already made up with a variety of lifesaving goods and equipment in them, but you may prefer to make up your own; that way it will be tailor made to your particular needs. Another advantage of building your own survival kits is that you will better understand how each component works and how they can actually work towards your survival rather than just opening a pre-packed one in an emergency and seeing it all for the very first time.
Think about the environment you may find yourself in - winter survival kits are obviously going to different to tropical ones, for example. If you have any special requirements, such as medication you must ensure that you have emergency supplies of it. Bear in mind when you are putting together survival kits that they should allow you to survive alone, without any help for at least 72 hours - this isn't a random figure but the time in which 99% of all survival situations are resolved.Fire is an important part of survival so you will need to include matches in a waterproof case. You should also pack a lightweight firesteel, in case your matches let you down, or wood is damp. Cotton wool balls soaked in petroleum jelly are also an excellent way of getting damp wood to burn, and are easy to ignite.Head lamps are vital in survival kits, or at the very least a reliable flashlight; it's very difficult to do anything if you are in complete darkness. In addition to these, include an eight-hour candle; they do more than provide light, they can warm your shelter, or dry kindling for your fire.
Survival kits should include a heavy duty space blanket: it can used as a tarp for shelter, or you can just roll yourself up in it. It can also be used to collect rainwater for drinking, or, because one side is reflective, as a signal.It's probably pointless including a vast array of medical equipment in survival kits because anything more serious than minor injuries will need to be dealt with professionally, but you should include tweezers, bandages, sterile gauze, a scalpel and antibiotic ointment. Make sure you have the equipment necessary to rig up splints in case of any broken bones.A 50 foot hank of military spec parachute cord is another important addition to survival kits; it can be used for many things including building shelters and repairing equipment. Wire is useful for the same reasons, as well as making tools and weapons, and for snaring small game. You won't survive for very long in the wild without water, so include a way of making water that you find, safe to drink. The best way of purifying water is to boil it; water filters or chemical purification can fail for a number of reasons.
You will need a pot for your water, and can be something as simple as metal coffee can, and can double as a cooking pot.Don't rely on your cell phone or GPS for navigation and rescue; there may be no signal, or the battery may die. Instead, make sure that you have a map and a compass. Think about signaling devices: a whistle takes up little space, and is loud. Smoke from your fire is another obvious way of signaling, but if you have no room for a mirror, improvise with your cooking pot or reflective blanket.Don't forget a multi-tool that has small knife blades, pliers and other tools that will be very necessary for survival. Also useful are 50 gallon drum liners; they can have multiple uses such as makeshift sleeping bag, water collectors, etc. Safety pins, a needle, aluminum foil and a bandana should all find a place: they too have multiple purposes, and could contribute to saving your life.Let's hope that all the thought and effort that go into the making of your survival kit are never tested - but it's vital that you are prepared.